U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC
October 30 and 31, 2023
The inaugural U.S.-Japan High Level Policy Dialogue on Education took place October 30-31, 2023 at the U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC. Assistant Secretary Lee Satterfield of the U.S. Department of State’s Education and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Bureau and Senior Deputy Minister FUJIE Yoko of Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), opened the two-day Dialogue. U.S. and Japanese representatives committed to expand education and research collaboration through greater student, faculty, and staff exchanges, as well as inter-university and university-private sector collaboration.
The High-Level Policy Dialogue on Education is the outcome of the Memorandum of Cooperation in Education signed by U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and then-MEXT Minister NAGAOKA Keiko on May 21, 2023, in Hiroshima, Japan on the sidelines of the G7 Summit. In the lead up to the Memorandum signing, on May 18, 2023, U.S. President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. and Japanese Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio welcomed greater U.S. and Japanese university partnerships to promote and protect critical technologies, such as quantum computing, semiconductor engineering, biotechnology, and Artificial Intelligence.
The U.S. State Department East Asia and Pacific Bureau Deputy Assistant Secretary Camille Dawson and ECA Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary Marianne Craven led the U.S. delegation, while Japan’s delegation included representatives from MEXT and the Embassy of Japan in the United States.
The Department of State and MEXT (hereinafter referred to as “the two sides”) exchanged views on current exchange activity, ongoing exchange programs, challenges, and opportunities for collaboration going forward, including through the binational Fulbright program, known as the Japan-U.S. Educational Commission (JUSEC), which has produced seven Nobel Prize laureates, four from Japan and three from the United States.
The two sides also discussed how to expand academic-corporate partnerships in support of greater STEM study and research exchanges, as well as our shared economic security priorities.
Currently, the United States is the most popular destination for Japanese students going overseas. Under the leadership of Prime Minister KISHIDA, Japan is committed to boosting student mobility at the higher and upper secondary education level between Japan and the world through its J-MIRAI program.
The U.S. and Japan recognized the importance of enhancing Japanese and English language education, especially at the compulsory education level. The two sides also discussed the state of Japanese language study in the United States, including Japanese language course availability and the decline in licensed Japanese teachers.
In the year to come, the officials confirmed to:
- Continue efforts to promote student exchange through implementing ongoing programs such as the Inter-University exchange project and scholarships;
- Expand exchange opportunities in STEM fields, specifically through JUSEC scholarships for Japanese Fulbright participants;
- Increase opportunities for Japanese students to explore study abroad options through student fairs to take place in Japan;
- Launch the first courses under a pilot English Language Specialist program with Kumamoto University to support the university’s new workforce development curriculum for semiconductors;
- Cooperate on ways to support Japanese language study in the United States by strengthening pathways for Japanese teachers, including maximizing exchange opportunities at the K-12 level, mapping transferability of Japanese teaching licenses to the U.S., prioritizing Japanese as a critical language, and expanding various successful programs, such as J-LEAP, Fulbright Teaching Assistant Program, and calling for the expansion of private initiatives such as ALLEX; and
- Reaffirm the importance of cooperation on pursuing increased exchanges for K-12 Japanese language teaching in the United States, including enhanced opportunities for Japanese language teachers to build on their knowledge and skillsets via practical experience in the United States.
Moving forward over the coming year, officials from the two sides will meet through a joint education working group to develop an action plan and corresponding lines of effort to advance bilateral education partnerships. Japan will host the next High-Level Policy Dialogue in 2024.
Lee Satterfield, Assistant Secretary, ECA
Camille Dawson, Deputy Assistant Secretary, EAP
Marianne Craven, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary, ECA
Phillip Roskamp, PAO, U.S. Embassy Tokyo
Shannon Dorsey, CAO, U.S. Embassy Tokyo
Nick Snyder, Director, Japan Desk
Andrew Lee, Deputy Director, Japan Desk
Tim Marshall, Senior Program Officer, EAP
Walid Zafar, Public Diplomacy Desk Officer, EAP
Sam Difilippo, Policy Officer, ECA
Savannah Wallace, International Affairs Specialist, U.S. Department of Education
Japan – MEXT
FUJIE Yoko, Senior Deputy Minister
KITAYAMA Koji, Deputy Assistant Minister, International Affairs Division
KAMOSHITA Yuko, Senior Specialist, International Affairs Division
OKAJIMA Miwa, Deputy Director, Education Policy Bureau
TAKEDA Kuniko, Deputy Director, Higher Education Bureau
OGAWA Satoshi, Director, Science and Technology Bureau
Japan – Embassy of Japan
MIYAKE Fumito, Minister, Public Affairs Section
KANESHIRO Taichi, Education Counsellor, Public Affairs Section
OKAMURA Keisuke, First Secretary, Science Section
Tim Folsom, Education Coordinator, Public Affairs Section